What Type of Employee? What about Those Who Work at McKinsey & Co.?

October 5, 2023

Vea4_thumb_thumb_thumb_thumb_thumb_tNote: This essay is the work of a real and still-alive dinobaby. No smart software involved, just a dumb humanoid.

Yes, I read When McKinsey Comes to Town: The Hidden Influence of the World’s Most Powerful Consulting Firm by Walt Bogdanich and Michael Forsythe. No, I was not motivated to think happy thoughts about the estimable organization. Why? Oh, I suppose the image of the opioid addicts in southern Indiana, Kentucky, and West Virginia rained on the parade.

I did scan a “thought piece” written by McKinsey professionals, probably a PR person, certainly an attorney, and possibly a partner who owned the project. The essay’s title is “McKinsey Just Dropped a Report on the 6 Employee Archetypes. Good News for Some Organizations, Terrible for Others. What Type of Dis-Engaged Employee Is On Your Team?” The title was the tip off a PR person was involved. My hunch is that the McKinsey professionals want to generate some bookings for employee assessment studies. What better way than converting some proprietary McKinsey information into a white paper and then getting the white paper in front of an editor at an “influence center.” The answer to the question, obviously, is hire McKinsey and the firm will tell you whom to cull.

Inc. converts the white paper into an article and McKinsey defines the six types of employees. From my point of view, this is standard blue chip consulting information production. However, there was one comment which caught my attention:

Approximately 4 percent of employees fall into the “Thriving Stars” category, represent top talent that brings exceptional value to the organization. These individuals maintain high levels of well-being and performance and create a positive impact on their teams. However, they are at risk of burnout due to high workloads.

Now what type of company hires these four percenters? Why blue chip consulting companies like McKinsey, Bain, BCG, Booz Allen, etc. And what are the contributions these firms’ professionals make to society. Jump back to When McKinsey Comes to Town. One of the highlights of that book is the discussion of the consulting firm’s role in the opioid epidemic.

That’s an achievement of which to be proud. Oh, and the other five types of employees. Don’t bother to apply for a job at the blue chip outfits.

Stephen E Arnold, October 4, 2023


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